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ID number:519412
Published: 16.03.2006.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 8 units
References: Used

It is possible to say that before doing a primary research, one should do a smaller study importance of which is not less than the findings of his/her later primary research. This smaller research is called the literature review. Before discussing the aim of literature review, let us start with a brief definition of a review of literature. A literature review surveys scholarly articles, books and other sources (e.g. dissertations, conference proceedings) relevant to a particular issue or an area of research and provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of each work1. In other words, literature review can be understood as a process of collecting and critically analyzing of what has been written about a specific topic by accredited scholars and researchers. It is an important research tool and is an essential ingredient in the research process (Mertens, 2005)2.
Also according to Mertens there are two major purposes of a literature review: to do a primary research or as an end in itself.

1.Literature Reviews for Planning Primary Research
Mertens says the purpose of the literature review section of a research article is “to provide the reader with an overall framework for where this piece of work fits in the ‘big picture’ of what is known about a topic from previous research. Thus it serves to explain the topic of the research and to build rationale for the problem that is studied (p.88)”.
One cannot immediately do a research only because she/he simply thinks that it is interesting and useful due to a number of reasons:

A similar research has been conducted but he/ she does not know so he/she may do a duplication, results of which will not be appreciated later;
A part of her/his interest has already been researched and the results are already available;
The topic of his/her interest maybe not researchable or not worth researching.

Therefore, before doing research one should obtain a good understanding of what has already been done in the domain of his/her interest and what he/ she is going to study will be a new investigation in a specific area. Literature review, therefore, firstly provides the researcher and then the audience of his/her research about:

What already has been done in that domain;
What is on debate in that domain;
What previous researches lack and where further researches are needed;
Why his/her research is important.

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